Bill Plaschke wrote in the Los Angeles Times this morning that Dan Haren isn’t the answer (that’s why he is their #4 starter right now) for the Dodgers and that they should explore the idea of trading for Tampa Bay Rays ace David Price before the July 31st deadline. The Rays have been very adamant that Price will cost a lot as the 2012 American League Cy Young Award Winner is nearing free agency and having another great season. Reports from various sources indicate that the Rays would want at least two of the three top Dodger prospects. That would mean that the Dodgers would have to trade a combination of Joc Pederson, Corey Seager, or Julio Urias and maybe more. The trade would show the Dodgers are “all-in” for the 2014 season (like the Angels) and are willing to give up their top prospects for a pitcher who might be with the team for maybe a year and a half. So, should the Dodgers do it?
Jul 19, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher David Price (14) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Let’s look at the case for yes. David Price is one of the top pitchers in baseball and at 28 years old, is in the prime of his career. Price is 9-7 with a 3.23 era this season and leads the MLB with 164 strikeouts. He was selected for his 4th All-Star Game this past week. If the Dodgers were to acquire Price, they would easily have the best rotation in baseball and perhaps the best rotation in the past decade. Kershaw, Greinke, Price, Ryu, and Beckett… Man, that rotation looks really nice and would look great come October. There would be less pressure on Kershaw to throw every third game in the playoffs and help keep him fresh for a long run toward a World Series title. Also having three former Cy Young Award Winners in your rotation helps.
Prospects are hit or miss and it’s hard to not get caught up with their stardom in the minor leagues. Joc Pederson and Corey Seager are the future for the Los Angeles Dodgers, if they stay Dodgers. Pederson would be with the team right now if the outfield wasn’t as crowded as the I-5 freeway. The versatile outfielder, Pederson has the power, average, and speed to be a stud in the pros. The #18 prospect in Baseball America’s Midseason Top 50 prospects, Pederson is hitting .326 with 18 home runs and 46 RBIs in 81 games for the Albuquerque Isotopes (Triple-A) this season. Pederson also had a solo home run and two runs scored in the Triple-A All-Star Game on Wednesday. Meanwhile over in Rancho Cucamonga, SS Corey Seager has been obliterating the California League this year and has just been promoted to Double-A this week. Seager hit .352 with 18 home runs and 70 RBIs in 80 games with the Quakes. Seager has been playing SS for most of his minor league career but most scouts project him to play 3B in the pros. Seager also played for Team USA in the 2014 MLB Futures Game. At 20 years old, Seager would be ready to play in the bigs next year and could be a great power source for the Dodgers. His time in the bigs would also depend on what management does with Hanley Ramirez after this season. Julio Urias, the 17-year old pitching stud from Mexico, also played in the Futures Game and played for Team World, throwing a scoreless inning. Urias became the youngest player to ever play in the Futures Game. Urias turns 18 next month and even though he is so young, the Dodgers are going to have trouble keeping him in the minors because he is so talented. Urias is already a top 20 prospect despite being just 17 and could be the second coming of Fernando Valenzuela. Would GM Ned Colletti pull the trigger and get rid of two or three of these guys that will be studs in the near future?
The dilemma surrounding David Price is probably keeping Ned Colletti up at night. It’s a tough decision and either choice has its pros and cons. We should know the answer in the next 12 days. Price threw eight shutout innings tonight and has now throw 16 consecutive scoreless innings.